Colorado picks up safety plaudit

Stepping into the path of any kind of vehicle is inadvised – but the outcome of doing so with Holden’s ute – sorry, ‘pick up’ - might be slightly less painful now.

UTILITIES rarely earn plaudits for being kind to pedestrians – but the national safety organisation reckons the updated Holden Colorado is a bit better than some of its bluff-faced ilk.

The Australasian New Car Assessment Programme (ANCAP), whose funders and supporters include the Government and the Automobile Association, has today announced the refreshed one-tonner, which arrives on sale here in September, has earned a five star rating from a recent crash test.

That’s a step-up on the pre-facelift model, which was determined to be a four star performer in single and spacecab formats back in 2012, its year of introduction.Only the doublecab was judged to be up to five star standard.

Now all variants have the highest score, which leaves and it on equal pegging with only two models that consistently outsell it, the Ford Ranger and Toyota Hilux.

As well as stepping up to the highest scoring level, the Colorado – which Holden is also insisting should adopt the US-centric ‘pick up truck’ descriptive (because, it now argues, utes are really drawn off cars) - has also been singled out for positive comment in respect to its pedestrian safety rating.

Traydeck utes/pick ups and many sports utilities tend to dare poorly in this aspect, because of their high, bluff frontages and the generous ride height.

However, the NZAA, which announces ANCAP findings here, says the new model came through the tests with a ‘good’ level of pedestrian protection, a rating that suggests it has minimised the impact on adults and children on the road in the event of a crash.

AA Motoring Services general manager Stella Stocks says traditionally utes scored poorly in pedestrian protection tests.

“It’s fantastic to see Holden putting more emphasis on safety design elements outside of the vehicle, an area that many utes have struggled with in the past, largely only receiving poor ratings,” she said in comment sent out to MotoringNetwork.  

The AA says Holden’s safety focus isn’t just on the external elements of the Colorado. The updated model comes with dual curtain airbags and a driver knee airbag as standard. It also boasts antilock brakes, stablility control, emergency brake assist and electronic brakeforce distribution.

“Traditionally utes have always been a little behind passenger vehicles in terms of safety features, but Holden has really taken a firm step forward here on safety and that’s a positive advancement to see,” says Ms Stocks.

ANCAP is supported by all Australian motoring clubs, the New Zealand Automobile Association, the Australian Government, the New Zealand Government, Australian state and territory governments, the Victorian Transport Accident Commission, NRMA Insurance and the FIA Foundation.

Colorado has entrenched as the third most popular ute in NZ, though it’s year-to-date sales count of 2082 leaves it well behind the Hilux in second. In turn, though, the Toyota that led the market for 30 years is now similarly outpaced by the Ranger.

Holden NZ general manager of communications, Ed Finn, said: "This ANCAP result is an outstanding achievement, one we're very proud of and is testament to the extensive development work carried out on the Colorado.  This result makes us even more excited about its impending arrival in New Zealand."